Law Dictionary

preexisting duty rule

noun pre·exist·ing duty rule

Legal Definition of preexisting duty rule

  1. :  a common-law rule of contracts: a party's offer of a performance already required under an existing contract is insufficient consideration for modification of the contract

Additional Notes on preexisting duty rule

This rule is not applicable to sales contracts in jurisdictions that have enacted the Uniform Commercial Code. It is also not applicable where there has been a rescission of the contract followed by a new contract.


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done merely as a duty

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